How to answer the question tell me about yourself

Reasonably than dread the question, consider it as a self-promotional invitation you mustn’t let cross you by. Individuals are not asking in your chronological historical past, however they do need greater than your title, rank, and serial quantity. Whether or not you might be in a job interview, assembly a brand new contact whilst you construct your community, or speaking together with your large boss on a video convention for the first time, that is your second to shine. It is a chance to give your two-minute commercial about your background, your accomplishments, and the significance of what you do.

Your aim is to flip the question into the starting of a deeper dialog and a deeper relationship. So hold these three key items of your response prepared: Interact the viewers, set up credibility, and tell folks why they need to care. Then tailor your reply to the one that is asking. Discover methods to join your expertise and experience to their pursuits.

Table of Contents


Interact the viewers

Resist the urge to lead together with your title and group except you understand that may stand out. As a substitute, give a brief, illustrative rationalization of what you truly do. Make it an fascinating dialog starter. If it factors to something occurring in the information proper now, even higher. Everybody you speak to is completely different. If in case you have researched their background or discovered one thing by means of speaking with them that relates, discover a means to tie your work to a standard space of curiosity. For instance,

  • “I’m a cybersecurity skilled, serving to firms reply to the latest SolarWinds hack and different rising threats.”
  • “I’m beginning a brand new promoting company so we will deal with the extra nimble, artistic strategy I beloved when my final company was nonetheless small.”

These introductions give your interlocutor the alternative to ask questions that lead to an in-depth dialog. That offers you the opening to comply with up in additional element about what you do and the way it relates to the different folks in the dialog.

Set up credibility

Now’s the time to share what it’s about you that folks ought to need to know. Describe highlights out of your work expertise, life expertise, or training that set you aside and display your data on this space. This may embody the inspiration that led you to this line of labor, what you studied at your college, an enormous mission you labored on, or locations you have got lived. What makes you uniquely certified to do the work that you simply do? For instance:

  • “I’m excited that I can mix my engineering diploma and my expertise working marathons to develop new applied sciences for prosthetics.”
  • “My two years with a administration consulting agency in Hong Kong gave me distinctive perception into the impacts of political swings on the U.S.-China commerce outlook.”

Tell folks why they need to care

Embrace some model of, “That is essential as a result of . . .” At this level, you have got supplied a dialog starter and mentioned your experience. Now use large image ideas clarify why they need to care. As an example:

  • “Synthetic intelligence helps us in so some ways and has unbelievable potential to do extra. My work will assist defend our privateness in the course of.”
  • “Working from dwelling in the pandemic is inflicting a wave of psychological well being challenges. The web mindfulness programming my firm affords provides employees an opportunity to get away even after they can’t get away.”

An important a part of responding to the inevitable question, “So, tell me about yourself,” is to be ready. If the model title of your organization or your college will pop, put it on the market up entrance. In case your life expertise, awards, or tasks you have got labored on display your value-added, be certain to embody them.

To construct your confidence round this response, it’s a good suggestion to movie a apply spherical in your telephone forward of time—and watch it again so you’ll be able to alter if wanted.

Do not forget that the smartest thing about this open-ended question is the alternative it provides you to spotlight your finest options and why what you do issues.


Eileen Smith is a public talking coach, former diplomat, and founding father of Spokesmith. She helps enterprise executives, coverage specialists, and rising professionals ship their message in every day and extraordinary occasions.